Understanding Action: An Essay on Reasons

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 26, 1991 - Philosophy - 167 pages
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This is an important new book about human motivation, about the reasons people have for their actions. What is distinctively new about it is its focus on how people see or understand their situations, options, and prospects. By taking account of people's understandings (along with their beliefs and desires), Professor Schick is able to expand the current theory of decision and action. The author provides a perspective on the topic by outlining its history. He defends his new theory against criticism, considers its formal structure, and shows at length how it resolves many currently debated problems: the problems of conflict and weakness of will, Allais' problem, Kahneman and Tversky's problems, Newcomb's problem, and others. The book will be of special interest to philosophers, psychologists, and economists.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
12 A Difficult Choice
3
13 What This Book Is About
6
Practical Reason
9
22 Uncertainty
17
23 Chances and Odds
21
24 Expectedness
27
25 A Paradox
31
37 Coherence Refined
88
38 Intensionality
95
Some Applications
102
42 Settling It
104
43 Weakness of Will
110
44 Resoluteness
116
45 Might Have Beens
121
46 Status Quo Anted
129

26 Utilities
37
27 Holding Firm
42
28 Coherence
46
29 Idealization
51
A Missing Factor
55
32 Double Aspects
60
33 Adding to Logic
65
34 Propositions
71
35 Understandings
78
36 Reason Revised
84
47 Status Quo Posts
139
48 Hypotheticals
146
49 Does It Work?
148
Seeing Things Right
151
52 Dishonesty
155
53 Inattention
158
54 No Problem
162
Index
165
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